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Refugees Were Dragged From A Church After Seeking Sanctuary From Deportation

Two pastors had offered the men immunity according to the ancient practice of church sanctuary.

Posted on July 1, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. ET

Police in Reykjavík, Iceland, were caught on video Tuesday dragging Iraqi refugees out of a church.

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The footage, captured by Icelandic publication Stundin, shows the police entering the Church of Laugarnes to retrieve 16-year-old Ali Nasir and 30-year-old Majed.

YouTube / Via youtube.com

Pastors Toshiki Toma and Kristín Þórunn Tómasdóttir were carrying out a ceremony for the men when police and immigration officials arrived. They had hoped officers would respect the "ancient practice" of church sanctuary.

YouTube / Via youtube.com

After briefly speaking to the pastors, the police grabbed the men and dragged them out the church.

YouTube / Via youtube.com

According to reports, the pair will be deported to Norway and friends fear they will be sent back to Iraq.

YouTube / Via youtube.com

Speaking to BuzzFeed News, No Borders Iceland said that it condemns the behavior of the authorities in this incident.

"No Borders Iceland opposes all deportations and fights for a world without borders. We especially condemn this deportation for its violence and disrespect of religion, old traditions, and human dignity in general. We stand in solidarity with the Icelandic National Church on this issue and support their efforts to shelter refugees."

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